Maybe you have heard of bacterial vaginosis but didn’t quite understand what it was. Simply put, bacterial vaginosis is an infection caused when too much of a certain bacteria changes the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina. Women in their reproductive years are more likely to get bacterial vaginosis, but it can affect women of any age. The Center for Disease Control says that bacterial vaginosis (also known as BV) is the most common vaginal infection in women between the ages of 15 and 44.
While bacterial vaginosis is not considered by the CDC to be an STD, it can increase a woman’s chances of getting an STD. The symptoms associated with bacterial vaginosis are similar to those found in other bacterial infections. Women may experience a vaginal discharge, an unusual odor, vaginal itching or a burning or discomfort with urination. There are several risk factors known to increase the chance of getting this infection. They include having multiple sex partners, having a new sex partner, douching or a natural lack of certain vaginal bacteria. While bacterial vaginosis does not always lead to complications, it can lead to premature birth in pregnant women, higher risk of other vaginal infection and can sometimes cause pelvic inflammatory disease.
BV can only occur in women. Men cannot get bacterial vaginosis. If you are concerned that you may have this infection, you should speak with your doctor right away. They will be able to tell you about possible treatments available. If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to an STD, testing options are available. STD testing is the best way to know the current status of your sexual health. If available in your area, In-Home Collection allows you to be tested at home, work or another location of your choice.